The One with a Home within a Home

As the year comes to a close, people (myself included!) begin to look back on the year that just passed. For me, this is a healthy habit, most especially when we do it to count our blessings.

All of my Neat Projects have been blessings to me this year. After more than a year in Neat, I still get excited whenever project is booked, more so when we’re about to enter our client’s home on the actual day!

I’m writing about a special #NeatProject because it’s from my hometown, Batangas City. It’s actually a two-part project. We did the storage and kitchen on the first part; now, let me take you through our experience in the second part of the project.

Before (storage project)

After (storage project)

My client’s room sits modestly on the second floor of their lovely new home. There’s really no assuming anything because its door looks exactly like the rest of the doors in their house. From the staircase, it looks like we’re only just about to enter an ordinary room, until we set our feet in.     

The door leads to a reception area with pink, green, and gold accents which are chic and sophistication in visual form. It’s put together exquisitely it could pass as a set for a photo shoot! Beside this area is a little preparation area furnished with a sink, so a little party or gathering may be in order! The room has its own stairs leading to the bedroom and the walk-in closet. On the way to the room, you can’t miss the reading nook – even if it’s smaller compared with the reception area, it has its own function, personality, and class. The room is definitely a home on its own.

This home within a home speaks so much of its owner. When we got to her room in preparation for our walk-in closet project, her bags were already lined up on her bed. The rest of her things were brought in an orderly manner. The instructions she gave us were very clear. She knows what she wants, but she never let us feel she was superior. On the contrary, she was very hands-on and cooperative, she was gentle and trusting; she sorted her things with us and even wiped the surfaces of her shelves. She asks us what we need and she doesn’t mind if she gets them herself. She is independent, but she is very open to ask questions and to ask for help.

She even trusted us to fill her walk-in closet.

The empty walk-in closet was a sight to behold. The feeling of looking at it is like that of a child looking at a fresh page in a coloring book: the child studies the outline of the photo, imagines the combination of colors, gathers the right materials, then colors away!

What’s really nice about this particular walk-in closet is that it is a product of a well thought-out plan. There were closet spaces made specifically for dresses or long pieces of clothing. The shelves were roomy enough to accommodate bags and shoes without having to squeeze or force them in. The drawers were wide and perfect for shirts to be file folded; the smaller drawers were just right for the small pieces of clothing such as swimwear and undergarments.   

If this were a child’s coloring book activity, the crayons are the right fit to the thickness of the lines and the width of the spaces that no color will ever be out of the lines!

In truth, when we were at the sorting phase, our client was hesitant whether all her clothes would fit in her closet. She thought she had too much that the space cannot accommodate anymore.

It’s really amazing what thoughtful planning can do!

Because our client was sorting with us, she encountered pieces of clothing and footwear she rarely uses. She pulled them out of the pile and placed them inside a box. Her huge help made our work such a breeze (and bought her even more closet space!)

On the right side of her closet was her showcase area for bags and shoes. Because we had the luxury of space, we had the liberty to display her bags and shoes without having to cram them – walking on this side after made it feel like we’re walking in a department store!

After hours of working on this project, this walk-in closet became home to items which were temporarily stored in boxes and luggages when we started. From empty shelves and drawers, it also transformed into a home within our client’s home.

“Home” is such a beautiful word, as it connotes a feeling of warmth, comfort, and permanence. Many houses may look the same because of its parts, but the feeling of home is what makes them completely different. Home is where you step your foot in and feel calm and loved, where breakfast is served in the most inspiring way, where even the most common objects mean something, and where your kids, your pets, or your plants – in this case, your reception area, reading nook, and walk-in closet – greets you with a “welcome back” smile or embrace that no other place could offer.

May you feel at home wherever you are this Christmas season.

May you be the home for people you love.

Happy weekend, Neatropolis! Stay Neat!

Kobe Farinas Nursery

A Neat Project with Karel Marquez

Coming up with a nursery is one if the most exciting parts in an expecting mom’s journey. In this #NeatProject, we helped Mommy Karel by repurposing and putting together their old furniture and existing storage to create a safe and functional space for Kobe that warmly whispers, “Welcome Home.”

Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio’s Home Classroom and Library

A Neat Project with Rica Peralejo Bonifacio

Helped out a super momma during her nesting period. What a fun #neatproject it was. Really happy that we were part of this special time in Rica’s life as she prepares her home for both for Philip and Manu. Special thanks to Landers Superstore for all the organizing materials that we used in this project and to Ninjamadeph for helping us clean the area.

This is one of my favorite Neat Projects knowing that we get to improve Rica’s space and utilize the previous storage to something more useful for her children. The reaction of Rica says it all. Hope you like this one as much as I do.

Here’s Rica’s video of our awesome Neat Project together. Thanks for watching Neatropolis!

Rica Peralejo Bonifacio’s Closet Makeover

A Neat Project with Rica Peralejo

It’s always a great feeling helping out a nesting momma. I can totally relate on having mixed emotions. Grateful also the for the trust the Rica gave me and my team to help her prepare become a mommy of two. Watch our quick #neatproject session in her walk in closet. Biggest congratulations again to the Bonifacio family as they welcome Manu in their lives…

The heartfelt and inspiring video of Rica gave me a lot of moral boost. This gives meaning to what I do. Whoever the mom is, I always find joy in helping out moms who have different struggles in motherhood. But I know for a fact that even without me, every mother pulls through and makes a way for their children. Nevertheless, every little help that a mom gets is a blessing that every mom appreciates. A mom for moms…

ROOM Makeover and DECLUTTERING feat. NEAT OBSESSIONS

by Mikaela Martinez

Watch Issa Reyes and Mikaela Martinez in one of their Neat Projects

Finally, a #decluttering session & room makeover with Issa of @neatobsessions! Sometimes it gets really overwhelming especially when you don’t have the time to declutter on your own.. so Issa shows us tips and tricks on how to get started! I hope you find this useful and find time to start your own #NeatProject xx

The One with the Harmonious Marriage


Being married drastically changes the tone of your everyday routine. Things you used to do on your own such as eating lunch or doing the laundry will be different, because you’ll find yourself already consulting someone from time to time regarding small matters.

I haven’t actually been physically by their side from Day 1 to say that Kai Honasan and her husband Eco del Rio’s love story have been all “harmonious” and “in tune.” It’s just that, I can’t help smiling whenever I watch them sing together, tease each other, or be themselves in the videos they share in YouTube. 

They got married May of last year, and it’s a big leap to entertain someone in their homes to do organizing and cleaning their space, when no one has entered their space before to do these.

I can’t believe it’s been almost 1 1/2months since we did our #DelRioGrande #NeatProject!  

If you’ve seen this video, then you have an idea how long (or short?) it took us to transform this cozy space, and how we tremendously enjoyed it!

For this blog post, I will condense our 12-hour #NeatProject in three steps! 

SORT – ANALYZE – MOVE

  1. SORT.I’m sure you’ve read this over and over, so here’s a little test on what I always (always!) say: “Sorting is the _________of organizing.” Clue: An organ in our body that’s part of a greeting this month!

If you said heart, congratulations! 

In our #NeatProjects, it’s the sorting part that mostly takes time, all because we have to pay attention to small details. Our #DelRioGrande project was no exception. We had to sort everything we found – from clothes, gadgets, and books, to those teeny-tiny things such as accessories, and guitar picks. 

I admired Kai’s humility when she confessed that she has no idea what the other drawers in her room contained as they are “untouched” for some time. Don’t we all relate to it? Don’t we all have a corner in our homes that we don’t dare to face at one point? We know they exist, but we’re not brave enough to confront them, worried sick that we might not be able to come out of the dump. 

Kai was very trusting, patient, and cooperative. She was there the whole time and she was very keen on helping. She was also ready to let go of some of her items. Have I mentioned that before we even started sorting, she already showed us three huge bags full of clothes she will either sell or donate? She did sorting before we even started, and that’s one happy point for her!

Eco did help too! He helped us evaluate some of his things, he guided us where to place his prized possessions, before he said goodbye to proceed to his gig.

(On a side note, I have been running Neat Obsessions for almost a year now, and I must say my team already developed their own “areas of expertise” when it comes to sorting. It’s like they automatically “disperse” in a project such as this, proceeding to their “stations.” Some of them work in the closets faster than the rest, some of them sort makeup and skin care like they’ve been doing it their entire lives (trust me, they told me they found it difficult the first time because things looked so foreign!), some of them treat bookshelves as if they’re mothers dressing their babies for the first time. To be able to see them grow in Neat Obsessions is something I am really thankful for, and the way they treat every project as a learning experience is something very priceless for me. I am happy to note that the transformation we see in a client’s space is the same transformation I see in them, however small. Like I always say, slow and small progress is still progress!)

  • ANALYZE. Kai and Eco’s place could pass as a charming coffee shop or private restaurant. In fact, they invite friends over from time to time. Their space is decorated with guitars and ukuleles hanging on the wall, so there’s no mistaking two artists and musicians create harmony in this space. Although one’s home is usually for private moments, in one look, I knew that this place is meant for sharing. There were so many interesting pieces: the bookshelf, the huge hammock, massage chair, cozy sofa, and a chalkboard wall speak so much of the owners’ personalities. 

In the middle of sorting, with Kai’s inputs, we analyzes the huge space they have and how they can make better use of it. We surveyed if one furniture could fit the space where another furniture is currently in place. It is crucial that Kai approves of our plans, because after all, she and her husband should be able to move effortlessly everyday even when we switch the location of things. It was a lot of mind work, but I am happy that Kai was there to guide, and that she was open to suggestions.

  • MOVE. When all things were sorted, the surfaces were clean (Thank you, NinjaMade for helping us in this project!), and we already had the liberty to move things around, here is what happened! 

We do things in tune to what we want to achieve. Just like in any relationship, we do what it takes to keep the harmony intact. I hope and pray that their decision to have their space organized will pave the way for more harmonious decisions and relationships in their marriage.

#DelRioGrande

After a long day’s work, we were very happy to see the smile on Kai’s face, closely similar to that of her glow when she got that four-chair turn. *wink!

Stay Neat Everyone! 🙂



#DelRioGrande Home Makeover

A Neat Project with Kai Honasan

Here ‘s my 1st attempt to do a makeover video to show you what a typical workday looks like. It’s a massive effort of sorting, analyzing, designing, moving, organizing, did I mention sorting? hahahaha. Grateful to have NinjamadePH in making sure that everything and every corner is clean and disinfected. Please bear with me if I still can’t do HGTV style videos since I am still practicing how to be mindful when it comes to vlogging. lol! Thank you again Kai and Eco in trusting us to be your ally in your #NeatJourney

Kim Chiu’s Decluttering BTS

A Neat Project with Kim Chiu

One of the most enjoyable and fun Neat Projects I have ever had was with Kim Chiu. Her positivity and love for family, friends, and home inspired me to appreciate everything around me even more. Here’s a behind the scene video of Kim’s decluttering.

Here’s Kim’s own video of our Neat Project. Thanks for watching Neatropolis!

I’m Coming Out…

There’s a new me coming out
And I just had to live
And I want to give
I’m completely positive
I think this time around
I am gonna do it
Like you never do it
Like you never knew it
Oh, I’ll make it through

These are my most favorite lines in Diana Ross’s song – I’m Coming Out. Read through it and watch the DreamWorks video of Trolls below.

“I’m Coming Out” From DreamworksTV – TROLLS the Movie
Originally sung by Diana Ross
Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Let me explain why these lines are my favorite.

There’s a new me coming out
And I just had to live
And I want to give

I am coming out of my shell and mustering all my courage to finally face everyone with the the newest chapter of Neat Obsessions. My very own vlog – Neat Obsessions on YouTube

These lines pretty much capture my reasons for starting this vlog. For most of the people who really know me, I am quite shy and timid. Just like some of you, I tend to like being in the background. Not for anything else, but I guess it’s because I have always been scared that people might not like me for who I am. But in all sincerity, I just really want to share my thoughts and simply just extend a helping hand to anyone who needs one. With all the blessings I had last year, I am coming out, brave and strong (hopefully strong enough) to be closer to those who support me in my Neat journey.

I’m completely positive
I think this time around
I am gonna do it

To me, positivity is more than just thinking, saying, or doing happy things, but it is more about the realization that everything that comes out of us should make the world a better place, a world full of hope and joy. Yes, I feel sad sometimes, I feel bad, or worst I feel mad. The good thing is that I have a great support system, my husband, the rest of my family, and my friends have always been a source of positivity for me. They make sure that I don’t need to listen to the negative things life has to bring and focus on what I can do to better myself for others – something I can be proud of to my three kids when they face the same challenges in life. With that, I move on… move to another creative and hopeful year in 2019.

Like you never do it
Like you never knew it
Oh, I’ll make it through

Dear Neatropolis, ladies and gentlemen, you have never seen me in my most vulnerable, and this is it! I hope with this vulnerability, we grow together. We will make through the learnings we will both have in this new chapter of Neat Obsessions. To all those who love me and worry about me, don’t… I will be ok, I will be better, and with the help of everyone in our community, I will come out, with grace and love, much stronger for everyone. Love you all!

So to anyone out there who are like me, I hope I can inspire you to start coming out of your shell. It all starts by loving yourself. Accepting that in all the faults that we find about us, there is always something beautiful about each and everyone of us. For every mistake that we have done before, there is always hope for everyone of us to be better, stronger, and to just be you… not perfect, but always fantastic! Neat Obsessions is about finding beauty in what we already have, improve it if we can, always with a smile.

Here’s episode 1 of Neat Obsessions vlog! Enjoy a glimpse of my day. Let me know what you think about it ok?

It’s a good day, today! Stay neat everyone!

Love, Issa Reyes